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JCL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

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Dear readers, these JCL Interview Questions have been designed specially to get you
acquainted with the nature of questions you may encounter during your interview for the subject
of JCL. As per my experience good interviewers hardly plan to ask any particular question during
your interview, normally questions start with some basic concept of the subject and later they
continue based on further discussion and what you answer
There is a concatenated input DD name with 3 datasets. How to override only one dataset in those
3 datasets?
Specify DD DUMMY in the overriding JCL for the ones, which are not overridden.
//STEP1.IN1 DD DUMMY
//
DD DSN=MYDATA.URMI.IN2,DISP=SHR
// DD DUMMY

Current version of a GDG is used as input in step1 of a job and a new version is created as output.
The output of step1 is used in step2 and the next version is created as output in step2. How do you
reference each GDG version in each step?
Following piece of code shows the reference of each GDG version
Step1
Step1
Step2
Step2

input: (0)
output: (+1)
input: (+1)
output: (+2)

How can you check if a file is empty using JCL?


When the file is used as input in IDCAMS, job completes with a warning returncode4 if the file is
empty.
A JCL has 4 steps and job abends. How to restart the job and run only step 2?
Specify RESTART = STEP2 in JOB statement. And include IF-THEN-ELSE construct as below
//URMIIF JOB 1, CLASS=6, MSGCLASS=0, NOTIFY = &SYSUID,RESTART=STEP2
//*
//STEP1
EXEC
//STEP2
EXEC
//IF1
IF (STEP2.RC = 0 & STEP2.RC <> 0) THEN
//STEP3
EXEC
//STEP4
EXEC
//ENDIF

What are the ways of passing data to a COBOL program from JCL?
Data can be passed to a COBOL program through files, PARM parameter and SYSIN DD statement.
How can the same PROC be re-used and called by many JOBs?
The varying portion of the JCL can be specified using symbolic parameters in the JOB and the static
parts can be specified in the PROC. For example, if the file name changes for every JOB that uses
the PROC, then the varying portion of the file name can be coded in JCL using symbolic parameter.
//IN1 DD DSN = &ID.URMI.IN1, DISP = SHR //*Coded in PROC
ID=MYDATA1 is coded in JOB1, ID = MYDATA2 is coded in JOB2 and so on

How do you create a dataset in a JCL with the same file organisation as that of another existing
dataset?
Use IEBGENER and pass existing file in SYSUT1. Pass new file in SYSUT2 and mention

DCB=*.SYSUT1 to get the same DCB as that of SYSUT1 dataset.


How do you access an uncataloged dataset in a JCL?
By using the UNIT and VOL serial parameters in the dataset DD statement.
What are the statements that are not valid to be included in an INCLUDE statement?
Dummy DD statements, data card specifications, PROCs, JOB, PROC statements cannot be coded
within an INCLUDE member. An INLCUDE statement can be coded within an INCLUDE member and
further nesting can be done up to 15 levels.
A JCL has 2 steps. How to code the JCL such that if step1 abends, then step2 runs. Else, job
terminates with step1?
Code COND = ONLY in STEP2.
How to do automated RESTART when a job abends?
Using RD parameter in JOB/EXEC statement. The abend codes for which RESTART need to be
performed can be mentioned in the SCHEDxx member of the IBM system parmlib library.
A JCL has 10 steps. How to run step3 and step7 only without using COND parameter or IF-THENELSE?
Using IEBEDIT in a JCL, selected steps of another JCL can be run. In the above JCL, the input JCL with
10 steps is present in MYDATA.URMI.JOBSINPUTJOB. STEP3 and STEP7 is specified in SYSIN of
IEBEDIT, so that those two steps are run.
//STEP001 EXEC PGM=IEBEDIT
//SYSUT1
DD DSN=MYDATA.URMI.JOBS(INPUTJOB),DISP=SHR
//SYSUT2
DD SYSOUT=(*,INTRDR)
//SYSPRINT DD SYSOUT=*
//SYSIN
DD *
EDIT TYPE=INCLUDE,STEPNAME=(STEP3,STEP7)
/*

When does a dataset go uncataloged?


When it is defined with DISP = NEW, KEEP at the time of creation. In case of a GDG, least recent
generation is uncataloged if the GDG base had been defined with NOEMPTY parameter when the
LIMIT is reached. All generations are uncataloged when coded with EMPTY.
How can a GDG base be created in a JCL. What is the difference between EMPTY and SCRATCH
parameter while defining/altering GDG base?
GDG base can be created using IDCAMS utility. EMPTY uncataloges all the generations when the
LIMIT is reached. SCRATCH physically deletes the generation, when it is uncataloged.
LIMITspecifiesthemaximumnumberofversionsthattheGDGbasecanhold.
A dataset contains 2500 records. How can the last 1500 records copied to an output file?
In the SORT/ICETOOL program, SKIPREC = n can be used, which skips the first n records and then
copies the rest to the output file.
//JSTEP020 EXEC PGM=ICETOOL
//TOOLMSG DD SYSOUT = *
//DFSMSG
DD SYSOUT = *
//IN1
DD DSN = MYDATA.URMI.SKIPREC,DISP=SHR
//OUT1
DD SYSOUT = *
//TOOLIN
DD *
COPY FROM(IN1) TO(OUT1) USING(CTL1)
/*
//CTL1CNTL DD *
SORT FIELDS = COPY
SKIPREC = 1000
/*

How can a file of 3n records be split into 3 files each containing n records?
STARTREC and ENDREC restricts the READ from the input file on the specified record number.
//URMISPLT EXEC PGM = SORT
//SORTIN
DD DSN=MYDATA.URMI.FILEIN,DISP=SHR
//SORTOF01 DD DSN = MYDATA.URMI.FILEOUT1,
//
DISP = (NEW,CATLG,DELETE),
//
RECFM = FB, LRECL = 50
//SORTOF02 DD DSN = MYDATA.URMI.FILEOUT2,
//
DISP = (NEW, CATLG, DELETE),
//
RECFM = FB, LRECL = 50
//SORTOF03 DD DSN = MYDATA.URMI.FILEOUT3,
//
DISP = (NEW, CATLG, DELETE),
//
RECFM = FB, LRECL = 50
//SYSPRINT DD SYSOUT = *
//SYSOUT
DD SYSOUT = *
//SYSUDUMP DD SYSOUT = *
//SYSIN DD *
SORT FIELDS = COPY
OUTFIL FILES = 01,ENDREC=100 //*assuming input file has 300 records.
OUTFIL FILES = 02, STARTREC = 101, ENDREC = 200
OUTFIL FILES = 03, STARTREC = 201
//*

When can a job time-out occur? How to overcome that?


A job time-out error can occur when the program takes more time than the time limit for the
specified class. This is called a S322 abend. This error is encountered when there are some
looping errors in the program and it does not reach completion.
If the data processed in the program is genuinely huge and needs more time than the class limit,
then the TIME parameter can be coded as TIME = 1440 to get infinite time until job completion.
In a JCL, a large volume dataset is loaded to a table using BMCLOAD in STEP1 and an image copy
of the loaded table is taken using BMCCOPY in step2. Step2 abends because the image copy
dataset cannot hold the volume of the table. How can this be rectified?
The SPACE parameter of the image copy dataset can be increased based on the volume of the
table and the job can be restarted from step2.
If the submitter of a job wants to inform another user about the job completion, how can it be
done?
NOTIFY = userid of the person notthesubmitter can be specified in the JOB statement so that the user
gets a notification with the return code upon job completion. But the job log is present in the spool
under the submitter's userid only.
How can a FB file converted to VB file using SORT program?
FTOV option in SORT helps in converting FB to VB file.
//URMIFTOV EXEC PGM = SORT
//SORTIN
DD *
123*******
4560000000
123****123
789
//SORTOF01 DD DSN = MYDATA.URMI.FILEOUT1,
//
DISP = (NEW, CATLG, DELETE),
//
RECFM = VB, LRECL = 54
//SORTOF02 DD DSN = MYDATA.URMI.FILEOUT2,
//
DISP = (NEW, CATLG, DELETE),
//
RECFM = VB, LRECL = 54
//SORTOF03 DD DSN = MYDATA.URMI.FILEOUT3,
//
DISP = (NEW, CATLG, DELETE),
//
RECFM = VB, LRECL = 54
//SYSPRINT DD SYSOUT = *
//SYSOUT
DD SYSOUT = *

//SYSUDUMP DD SYSOUT = *
//SYSIN DD *
SORT FIELDS=COPY
OUTFIL FNAMES = SORTOF01, FTOV, VLTRIM = C'*' //*removes trailing '*'
OUTFIL FNAMES = SORTOF02, FTOV, VLTRIM = X'40'//*removes trailing space
OUTFIL FNAMES = SORTOF03, FTOV, VLTRIM = X'00'//*removes trailing zeros
//*

What is a JCL?
JCL stands for Job Control Language which provides the specifications necessary to process a job. It
is a set of control statements which provides the specifications necessary to process a job. It is a
interface between programs & MVS operating system.
What does MVS stand for?
MVS stands for Multiple Virtual storage which is the operating system for the IBM mainframe
systems.
Where & how do you code Identifier in JCL?
Identifiers are two slashes / / starting from column number 1. All JCL statements starts with
identifiers except for two exceptions - For a delimiter statement, /* starting in col 1 and for a
comment statement , //* starting at col 1.
What are the various stages of Job processing?
Input > Conversion > Execution > Output > Hard copy > Purge
In Job processing, what happens in Conversion stage?
The JCL along with the PROC is converted into an interpreted text to be understood by JES and
stored into a dataset, which we call as SPOOL.
In Job processing, what happens in Execution stage?
When the job reaches its highest priority, it is taken up for execution from the job queue. The JCL is
read from the SPOOL, the program is executed and the output is redirected to the corresponding
output destination as specified in the JCL.
What operation is performed by JOB statement?
Specifies the information required for SPOOLing of the job such as job id, priority of execution,
user-id to be notified upon completion of the job.
How do you code a Null statement?
JCL is terminated by a null statement which is optional. For a null statement code only // starting
from column 1. All the lines after this will not be executed.
What is the purpose of coding CLASS parameter in job statement?
Based on the time duration and the number of resources required by the job, companies assign
different job classes. These can be visualized as individual schedulers used by the OS to receive
the jobs. Placing the jobs in the right scheduler will aid in easy execution of the jobs. Some
companies have different classes for jobs in test and production environment. Valid values for
CLASS parameter are A to Z characters and 0 to 9 numeric oflength1. Following is the syntax
CLASS=0 to 9 | A to Z
What is the purpose of coding NOTIFY parameter in job statement?
The system sends the success or failure message MaximumConditionCode to the user specified in this
parameter. Syntax NOTIFY = "userid | &SYSUID"
Which parameter is used to check the syntax of a JCL without executing it?
TYPRUN = SCAN checks the syntax errors of the JCL without executing it.

What is use of DSN parameter in DD statement?


The DSN parameter refers to the physical dataset name of a newly created or existing dataset. The
DSN value can be made up of sub-names each of 1 to 8 characters length, separated by periods
and of total length of 44 characters alphanumeric.
What is use of DISP parameter in DD statement?
The DISP parameter is used to describe the status of the dataset, disposition at the end of the job
step on normal and abnormal completion. DISP is not required in a DD statement only when the
dataset gets created and deleted in the same job step likethetemporarydatasets. Syntax DISP =
status, normal disposition, abnormal disposition
What is use of SPACE parameter in DD statement?
The SPACE parameter specifies the space required for the dataset in the DASD
DirectAccessStorageDisk. Syntax SPACE = spcunits, (pri, sec, dir, RLSE)
What is use of DCB parameter in DD statement?
The Data Control Block DCB parameter details the physical characteristics of a dataset. This
parameter is required for datasets that are newly created in the job step. LRECL is the length of
each record held within the dataset. RECFM is the record format of the dataset.
How you will define a temporary dataset in JCL?
A temporary dataset is the one that is created and deleted within a job and is declared as
DSN=&&TEMP. Do not mention the DSN parameters with this.
How you will the direct the data to spool using SYSOUT option?
Code SYSOUT = *, then the data will be directed to spool.
Which utility is used a dummy utility?
IEFBR14 is no operation utility. Used to return control to user and terminate. It is usually used to
create empty dataset or delete an existing dataset.
What DISP parameter we mention for creation of temporary dataset so that we can use it in later
steps?
DISP = NEW, PASS. PASS is valid only for normal disposition. This is used when the dataset is to be
passed and processed by the next job step in a JCL.
Which utility is used to run a COBOL-DB2 program?
IKJEFT01 utility is used to run a COBOL-DB2 program.
Which parameter is use to declare the name of dataset in DD statement?
DSNDatasetName is used to declare the name of dataset in a DD statement.
Which statement is used to end the in-stream procedure in a JCL?
PEND statement is used to end the in-stream procedure.
If we want to use a GDG which is already created by some job, then how to use the reference of the
last generation in a JCL?
To refer the latest generation of a GDG, we use the reference as +0.
In order to execute step2 a job after a return code of 8 in step1, what condition you will code in
step2?
COND=12, LT, STEP1, it will read the condition as 12 less than 8, which is false, so this step will be
executed.
What sort card you will use to copy the data from one dataset to another dataset?

In the SORT step mention the SYSIN & SYSOUT dataset name & in sort card code SORT
FIELDS=COPY to copy data from input file to output file.
A CHKPT is the parameter coded for multi-volume QSAM datasets in a DD statement. When a
CHKPT is coded as CHKPT=EOV, a checkpoint is written to the dataset specified in the SYSCKEOV
statement at the end of each volume of the input/output multi-volume dataset. State whether true
or false?
This statement is true.
Which utility is used to sort a file in JCL?
SORT utility is used to sort a file in a particular order based on the sort card.
Which utility is used to update PDS?
IEBUPDTE is used to update PDS.
What is use of SPACE parameter in DD statement?
The SPACE parameter specifies the space required for the dataset in the DASD
DirectAccessStorageDisk. Syntax SPACE = spcunits, (pri, sec, dir, RLSE)
A SET statement is used to define commonly used symbolic across job steps or procedures. It
initializes the previous values in the symbolic names. It has to be defined before the first use of the
symbolic names in the JCL. State whether true or false?
This statement is true.

What is Next ?
Further you can go through your past assignments you have done with the subject and make sure
you are able to speak confidently on them. If you are fresher then interviewer does not expect you
will answer very complex questions, rather you have to make your basics concepts very strong.
Second it really doesn't matter much if you could not answer few questions but it matters that
whatever you answered, you must have answered with confidence. So just feel confident during
your interview. We at tutorialspoint wish you best luck to have a good interviewer and all the very
best for your future endeavor. Cheers :-)
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